Bluff can mean a high cliff, or it can describe a person who is abrupt in manner. The most common usage of bluff is as a verb meaning to pretend. If you bluff at cards, you are pretending to have a better hand than you do.

Many a good crime story ends with a bluff—"I've already contacted the police and they're on their way," the detective will say when that is not at all the case. The expression "calling your bluff" comes from poker, where you "call" a game to see someone's actual cards. Calling someone's bluff means forcing them to admit the truth.

Definitions of bluff
  1. noun
    a high steep bank (usually formed by river erosion)
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    type of:
    a long ridge or pile
  2. adjective
    very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front
    “a bluff headland”
    synonyms: bold, sheer
    having a sharp inclination
  3. adjective
    bluntly direct and outspoken but good-natured
    “a bluff but pleasant manner”
    “a bluff and rugged natural leader”
    straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
  4. verb
    deceive an opponent by a bold bet on an inferior hand with the result that the opponent withdraws a winning hand
    synonyms: bluff out
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    type of:
    go, move
    have a turn; make one's move in a game
  5. verb
    frighten someone by pretending to be stronger than one really is
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    type of:
    affright, fright, frighten, scare
    cause fear in
  6. noun
    the act of bluffing in poker; deception by a false show of confidence in the strength of your cards
    synonyms: four flush
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    type of:
    deceit, deception, dissembling, dissimulation
    the act of deceiving
  7. noun
    pretense that your position is stronger than it really is
    “his bluff succeeded in getting him accepted”
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    type of:
    dissembling, feigning, pretence, pretense
    pretending with intention to deceive
Word Family
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